Don’t turn Osu Castle into a Museum - K. B. Asante

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

A retired diplomat, Mr K. B. Asante, has warned that the Christianburg Castle in Osu will deteriorate if left unattended to.

Ghana News Headlines

For latest news in Ghana, visit Graphic Online news headlines page Ghana news page

He stated categorically that converting the Castle into a museum would not work, suggesting that it must be used as a Government residence even if the President did not permanently live there.

Speaking on the historical antecedents of the Osu Castle and the President's move to the Flagstaff House on a current affairs programme on television, PM Express, Mr Asante further suggested that the government should use the Castle as the Official Reception area.

He said the President could entertain visitors, keep his guests or have certain functions, for example, at the Castle, instead of turning it into a museum.

He emphasised that "it should be the place for state visits; for example, to be used as the residence of a visiting head of state for a day. This way, the Castle would be kept properly".

On Thursday, February 7, 2013, the President, John Dramani Mahama, moved the seat of government from the Osu Castle to the Flagstaff House.

Since Ghana’s independence in 1957, the business of governing the nation has been held within the walls of the pre-colonial castle overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Following the decision to re-locate the seat of government to the Flagstaff House, President Mahama announced that the Castle would be turned into a tourist attraction.

But Mr Asante did not think it was a good idea and asked the President's advisers to think of a plan to make good use of the castle while maintaining its character.

As a concession, he said, the castle could have specific days dedicated to tourism.

However, Mr Asante’s position is at variance with the GA Dangbe Youth Association, which has been pushing for the management of the castle to be placed in their hands, challenging the government to give them only a year of management, to turn the pre-colonial castle with its rich history into an enviable tourist destination.

Speaking on their behalf, Nii Marmah Marquaye, the president of the group, said if the association did not transform the castle into an enviable edifice in the set time they would avail themselves for imprisonment.